N-deal with US on unequal terms: Advani

March 14th, 2008 - 11:10 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) India’s proposed nuclear deal with the US was on “unequal terms” and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was opposed to it as it “compromised” the country’s sovereignity, BJP leader L.K. Advani said Friday. The Indo-US nuclear deal would ensure that the country did not conduct any further nuclear tests, he said while speaking at the India Today Conclave 2008.

“As I have often said in recent months, the Indo-US nuclear deal will ensure that no future prime minister will be able to conduct Pokharan III even if our security considerations demand it,” he said .

“The deal has become a point of highest priority for the Congress-led government, so much so that that it has been blatantly disregarding the criticism expressed by its own supporting parties in the Left, and also the dissenting stand taken by the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) and other parties, which together constitute the majority opinion in parliament,” he said.

India conducted its first nuclear test in 1974 at Pokharan in Rajasthan. In 1998, the second nuclear test was conducted when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister of the NDA government.

“The BJP too wants a strategic alliance with the US and with other important countries in the world. But these alliances have to be on the basis of equality. Unequal agreements are simply unacceptable to us,” the Leader of Opposition said at the conclave on “How the BJP’s leadership differs from that of the Congress”.

He said that the Indo-US nuclear deal did not figure in the common minimum programme (CMP) of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

“Through a process of dialogue and persuasion, we succeeded in winning the support of our allies for at least one major issue, which the BJP alone had been advocating for several decades, making India a nuclear weapon power.”

“As a result, this point was included in the NDA’s national agenda of governance in 1998, and you will recall that none of our allies criticised the decision of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government to conduct nuclear tests at Pokharan in May 1998,” Advani said.

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